This Mediterranean restaurant at Jumeirah Saadiyat oozes coastal chic and it specialises in taking traditional Italian dishes and giving them a modern twist. The terrace is also one of the most pleasant spots in the city. It’s got a real holiday vibe, and make sure you keep an eye on the Gulf in front of you in case a pod of dolphins happen to pass by. The burrata pizza is on another level of deliciousness, and a meal here at any time of day is always a total joy. A worthy winner.
Jumeirah Saadiyat Island Resort (02 811 4444).
With so much competition on Saadiyat Island, you really have to extra special to stand out from the crowd. But with its marvellous Mediterranean food and lovely sea views, the Beach House manages to do so easily. The weekend breakfast deal is also a favourite of ours, where you can enjoy a spread of pastries, yoghurt, fruit and a hot main course just steps away from the pristine sands of the beach at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi. Both the lunch and dinner options are outstanding, too.
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, Saadiyat Island (02 407 1138).
As al fresco eating experiences go, the one you’ll find at Filini Garden is hard to beat. Arrive early enough for a sundowner to fully appreciate just how serene the setting is, and take in the lovely views over Yas Links and out towards Al Raha Creek. The Filini Sunsets deal offers Italian mixed drinks for Dhs30 in the early evening, and the crispy pizzas and sharing antipasti boards are just some of the highlights from the extensive menu. We keep falling more and more in love with this place.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island (02 656 2000).
This classy brasserie is just one of the brilliant venues at the super-stylish Abu Dhabi EDITION, but it’s inviting outdoor terrace makes it one of the must-try venues in the city. The menu, created by British chef Tom Aikens, includes a Mediterranean medley of soups, salads, sharing plates, fish, meats and more, that are best enjoyed out in the sun.
Sat-Thu noon-11pm, Fri 12.30pm-11pm. Alba Terrace, The Abu Dhabi EDITION (02 208 0000).
BBQ Al Qasr
Restaurants don’t come much classier than at the Emirates Palace an BBQ Al Qasr is certainly an elegant venue for a meal. As you might guess from the venue’s name there’s a lot of grilled meats and food on offer, if that’s your thing plus a host of non-chargrilled dishes to sink your teeth into while taking in the beautiful views.
Daily 1pm-midnight. BBQ Al Qasr, Emirates Palace, Corniche West (02 690 7999).
Buddha Bar Beach
With one of the most impressive views in town, a super-stylish dining room and a chilled atmosphere there’s a lot to like about this popular beachfront venue. On the menu there’s a host of Asian dishes including impressive sushi, sashimi and salads, alongside grilled meats and ceviche, to be enjoyed while staring out at the ocean. Bliss.
Daily noon-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Buddha-Bar Beach, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 498 8888).
Iris Yas Island
It’s one of the most popular outdoor venues in the city and it’s not hard to see why with its impressive views of Yas Marina, stylish décor and hipster-friendly ambiance. Food-wise it’s no slouch either, serving up a range of salads, fresh seafood, bar bites, sushi, steaks and desserts, ideal for enjoying al fresco.
Daily 6pm-3am. Iris Yas Island, Yas Marina (055 160 5636).
With an impressive seaside location at Al Bandar and a cool Polynesian-themed décor, Pacifico Tiki is an ideal spot for a meal outdoors. When it comes to the food there’s a range of Mediterranean dishes to enjoy from Italian pastas and pizzas to Spanish paellas and tapas, as well as a few burgers and sandwiches thrown in for good measure.
Daily noon-2am. Pacifico TIKI, Al Bandar (02 556 6090).
Enjoying picturesque views over the water towards Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, this stylish waterfront restaurant certainly has an ideal setting for an alfresco meal. Plus, with a range of Asian dishes on offer from Japan, including sushi, sashimi, bento boxes and noodle dishes, there;’s a lit to enjoy at this relaxed Asian venue.
Sho Cho, Souk Qaryat Al Beri (02 558 1117).
there aren’t many restaurants in the city that can rival the views, ambiance and setting of Sontaya with its close proximity to the ocean on Saadiyat Island. When not staring at the sea there’s so much on the menu to enjoy from Malaysian, Vietnamese and Thai dishes and nibbles and more.
Daily noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm. Sontaya, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 498 8088).